The Literati: Henry James’s Final Curtain Call

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Concerned about diminishing royalties from his novels, Henry James in his mid-40s began to write plays. Over five years of failure, few made it to the stage, but one, “Guy Domville,” succeeded in opening at London’s St. James’s Theater on Jan. 5, 1895. The highly respected George Alexander produced it...

Children’s Books: Magic Ripples Just Below the Surface in These Novels

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Some books are like tour guides. Grinning, they whisk you through enchanted avenues, each carefree laugh rehearsed and calculated, each anecdote sliding a little too smoothly into place. All the while, your eye wanders down the crooked back streets, and you wonder what myth and magic really goes on down...

Follow the Money (Then Take a Picture)

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In 1983, Ms. Greenfield matriculated at Harvard, where her parents had studied, and where she encountered both Mr. Evers and a student body of immense privilege. While traveling around the world her junior year, studying film and anthropology, Ms. Greenfield met the pioneering French photographer Jean Rouch, who is credited...

Anatomy of a Scene: From ‘Mission: Impossible’ to ‘Godzilla’: Plane Jumps in the Movies

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Advertisement anatomy of a scene Tom Cruise, professional sky divers, even muscle cars: All have leapt from planes in recent films. Aug. 3, 2018 Hollywood loves to throw people out of planes. Several big-budget movies over the last four years have sent their characters hurtling from aircraft for various narrative...

The Shortlist: Personal Stories From the Refugee Experience

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The story really begins when Al Samawi reads the Bible for the first time at the urging of an English-language teacher. We see how he begins, on his own, to be a critical thinker, eventually attending an interfaith conference and encountering Jewish Israelis and Americans. Finally, we reach the action-packed...

How to Listen to the Book Review Podcast

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Each week on The New York Times Book Review’s podcast, the Book Review’s editor, Pamela Paul, speaks with authors, critics and Times reporters about the latest releases and news in the literary world. Here’s how to listen: From a desktop or laptop, you can listen by pressing play on the...

As Brexit Looms, Musicians Brace for the Worst

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LONDON — The composer Howard Goodall was passing through a London airport in March en route to a conducting gig in Houston. Idling at the currency exchange desk, he got into a conversation with an employee about whether Britain’s departure from the European Union, known as Brexit, would be good...

Nonfiction: From Rags to Ill-Gotten Riches in 1930s China

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CITY OF DEVILSThe Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old ShanghaiBy Paul French299 pp. Picador. $28 Shanghai in the 1930s. Anyone familiar with detective novels or noir cinema knows exactly what that phrase means: smoke-filled nightclubs, back-alley gambling houses and dark, seedy opium dens, all frequented by a motley...

Nonfiction: Rome Wasn’t Sacked in a Day

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ROMEA History in Seven SackingsBy Matthew KnealeIllustrated. 417 pp. Simon & Schuster. $30. When we think of Rome and its history, particularly its ancient history, we tend to imagine the city projecting its power out into the world, over an astonishing geographical range. There are Roman ruins in Scotland, in...

5 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend

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Our guide to the city’s best classical music and opera happening this weekend and in the week ahead. ‘THE FORCE OF THINGS: AN OPERA FOR OBJECTS’ at Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center (Aug. 6-8, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.). Ashley Fure’s piece, created with her architect brother, Adam Fure, finally arrives in...